91215 - LABORATORIO 2 (Lab5)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The workshops are designed to provide students with skills that can prove useful in their future careers. The objective of the workshop is to help students advancing their skills through practice exercises in informational technology, data analysis, analysis in decision-making techniques (e.g. simulation) in complex organizations.

Course contents

Civil society, citizenship and democracy in transcultural perspective

This workshop aims to foster students' ability to analyze concepts such as civil society, citizenship, political partecipation, democracy critically, both as they originated and developed in the Western world and as they acquired distinctive forms in the Middle East. As such, the ultimate goal of the workshop is to stimulate reflections about the complex relationship between universalism and particularism within the concepts under scrutiny. 

After a theoretical overview on civil society and democracy in Western political philosophy (4 hours), the workshop will consist of 8 seminars (16 hours) where previously assigned readings will be discussed. Active partecipation in group discussions, readiness to debate and engage in intellectual confrontation will be fundamental for a successfull activity. 

The seminar will take place on Teams from November 4th 2020 according to the following timetable: 

Wed 4/11/20  9-11

Tue 10/11/20 17-19

Tue 24/11/20 17-19

Mon 30/11/20 15-17

Tue 1/12/20 15-17

Wed 2/12/20 9-11

Thu  3/12/20 9-11

Fri  4/12/20 15-17

Fri 11/12/20 15-17

Mon 14/12/20  9-11

Perspective students are kindly asked to contact the course convenor (francesca.biancani@unibo.it) at their earliest convenience. 


Introduction- Core readings 

Robert Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton, 1994.

S. Berman, Civil society and the collapse of the Weimar Republic, World Politics, 1997,401-429.

E. Gellner, The importance of being modular. In J. A. Hall (Ed.), Civil society: Theory, history and comparison (pp. 32–55). Cambridge: 1995. 

 Readings for seminars: 

S.P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations: the Debate, Foreign Affairs , 72,3, 1993, (con risposte di Fouad Ajami,Kishore Mahbubani, Robrt L. Bartley, Liu Binyan, Jean J. Kirckpatrick, Foreign Affairs, Sept./Oct. 1993)

E.Said, The Clash of Ignorance,The Nation, 22 Oct., 2001.

S. Zubaida, Islam, the State and Democrac: Contrasting Conceptions of Society in Egypt, Middle East Report, Nov.-Dec. 1992, 2-10.

Saad Ed-Din Ibrahim, Reviving Middle Eastearn Liberalism, Journal of Democracy, 14,4, 2003, 5-10.

Y. Sadowski, The New Orientalism and the Democracy Debate, Middle Est Report, July-August 1993, 14-21

E. Bellin, Civil Society: Effective Tool of Analysis for Middle East Politics?, PS, 27 (3), 1994, 509-510.

 M. Tessler, “Islam and Democracy in the Middle East: the Impact of Religious Orientations on Attitudes Towards Democracy in Four Arab Countries”, in Comparative Politics, vol.34, n.3, April 2002, 337-354

J. Schwedler, “A paradox of democracy? Islamist Participation in Elections”, in Middle East Report, n. 209, 1998, 25-29 + 41

C. Kurzman & I. Naqvi, “Do Muslims Vote Islamic?'” in Journal of Democracy, vol. 21, no.2, April 2010,  50-36

M. Ottaway & A. Hamzawi, "Islamist in Politics, Dynamics of Partecipation", Carnegie Papers, Middle East Programme, No. 68, November 2008.

Q. Wiktorowicz, Civil Society as Social Control: State Power in Jordan, Comparative Politics, Vol. 33, No. 1. (Oct., 2000), 43-61.

Sarah Ben Nefissa, NGOs, Governance and Development
in the Arab World, Management of Social Transformations, MOST, Discussion Paper - No 46, UNESCO, 2000.

R. T. Antoun, Civil Society, Tribal Process, and Change in Jordan: an Anthropological View, IJMES, 32,4,2000, 441-463.

Teaching methods

Lectures, group discussions. 

Assessment methods

Active partecipation in seminar group discussions are essential components of course attendance. Therefor students are expected to read the assigned materials in advance and come to class ready to discuss the seminar theme critically and constructively. Individual contributions will be based on short reaction papers (max 1000 words) students will write as responses to each seminar guiding questions in preparation for the meeting. Partecipation and reaction papers will be assessed. 



Teaching tools

Pc, slides, videos. 

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Biancani